non-chemical management of quackgrass

pasadena(z6-7WA)July 29, 2004

I'm looking for non-chemical strategies to manage quackgrass (Whatever repens). So far I've accumulated:

a) learn to love it

b) discourage it through regular cultivation over two to three years

I was wondering specifically about water management. We're blessed with semi-arid conditions. less than 10 in/year precipitation. During the summer we put on eight hours of water a week. If we reduced that amount and went to a drier regime, would we give a less moisture loving grass the upper hand?

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John_Blakeman(z5/6 OH)

Nope, it will just go dormant in dry weather and wait to come back in profusion when it rains -- whenever that might be.

Glyphosate is the only hope. Sorry.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 6:47PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

I'm looking for non-chemical strategies to manage quackgrass (Whatever repens).

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

lol good luck. u cant even kill it WITH chemicals.

but seriously i think i have a way to do it.
it involves a blowtorch and many, many springs and falls of burning it into submission. tho ur gonna have a scourched earth, ill bet eventually that would do it. maybe.

i also think ur onto the right track of limiting its water and multi year/year of tilling.

just a final word; goats

froggy

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 8:54PM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

but I just told the wife no more pets!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 11:33AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

they dont call then pets, they call them 'kids' right???

froggy

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 6:21PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

in a small area - continued pulling of quack grass will put a dent in it ... repeated fire works too... and i do agree that we should minimize the use of chemicals in native plantings, particularly if we are going native to be more environmentally friendly. which then leads me to another question? why are you watering 8 hours a week? seeing how this is the meadow & prairie forum, i was wondering what type of planting do you have and is it native to the climate that you have?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 5:38PM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

Good questions! We're developing our yard with a more or less naturalistic style, but not necessarily native, but drawing from plants world-wide in small habitat groupings. Our primary interest is in collecting conifers. However, we're trying to fill in the spaces with meadows more or less and we're still experimenting.

First of all we need to water because of the fire danger. Our average precipitation is 9" a year. most of which falls in winter. The natural vegetation consists of cool-season bunch grasses which normally go dormant in June.

We have a patch of native grasses, but we haven't had too much luck because we're upsetting the ecological balance with our irrigation. However, we haven't given up trying natives yet, and we just re-planted with plugs.

This year we also put in a patch of tall grasses because we felt our watering regime might be closer to the natural precipitation patterns in the upper mid-west. It also matches somewhat an adjacent grouping of American boreal trees.

So while not planting all natives, I'm still searching for ideas to get a more natural look. Furthermore, we have nothing against chemicals except we believe that chemicals can be abused, particularly where their use may not be economically important.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 7:00PM
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